Meet Our Team

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Our Staff   |   Board of Directors

Dan Lewis
Executive Director

Dan Lewis is the Leadership Foundation’s fearless leader, joining the team as executive director in July 2015. As a former chair of the Leadership Foundation’s board of directors and an alumnus of several Leadership Foundation programs, Dan is passionate about the work of this organization and is committed to inspiring a diverse community of leadership to improve Colorado.

Prior to joining the Leadership Foundation team, Dan was responsible for corporate reputation, communications, corporate responsibility and employee engagement for the nearly 15,000 members of the Molson Coors team worldwide as the chief public affairs officer.

Fluent in German, Dan holds a Master of Communication degree from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia and a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Affairs from Florida State University.  He currently serves on the board of directors for the Mile High United Way and the Downtown Denver Partnership.

Our Staff — Operations

Nikki Barta
Executive Assistant

Meet Nikki Barta, Denver native and executive assistant of the Leadership Foundation.  She takes on her ever-changing role with a smile and a double-jointed thumbs-up. It’s no wonder her spirit animal is a chameleon.  When she’s not taking care of our team or our board up here on the 5th Floor, you can find her walking/running/chasing after her (adorable) toddler or devouring the green chili at Burrito Giant, her Denver happy-place.  She also likes to get her Pinterest-inspired crafting on (half the projects are fails, but she tries) and ride horses, which she can mount in a single jump.

Wylia Sims
Manager of Finance and Operations

Wylia is the manager of finance and operations at the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation. Responsible for managing the finances and operations of the Foundation. She also serves as the staff lead for the Foundation’s Inclusivity and Diversity Committee. She has worked for a range of organizations from a major national network of community based organizations to a start-up online philanthropic marketplace; a privately funded global foundation to a corporate foundation; to serving on several nonprofit Boards and volunteering – she hopes to match her broad experience with her passion to bring purpose and fun to work life.

Wylia received a BBA in International Business from Howard University and a MS in Nonprofit Management from The Milano Graduate School of Management at New School University. She currently serves on the board of directors for Metro Volunteers and volunteers with Africa Development Promise.

Our Staff — Programs

Denise King
Program Director

Denise King is program director for our flagship program, Leadership Denver, as well as Access Denver and Impact Denver. She also works with the program directors and students involved with the Colorado Leadership Alliance. If you have been in one of Denise’s classes you have probably learned her version of Roshambo (rock, paper, scissors) and know that the chimes will ring on time! A master’s degree in education kicked off a career in management and leadership development, including working at American Management Association’s Operation Enterprise, where learning to water ski and wrapping a toga were required parts of the curriculum. She likes this leadership stuff so much that she serves on the national board for the Association of Leadership Professionals as well as Colorado-based The Leadership Investment and was recently appointed to the Governor’s Commission on Community Service.

Kirsten Vermulen
Program Director

Kirsten oversees the Leadership Exchange, Colorado Experience and Access Denver programs as well as the Foundation’s Civic DNA initiative.

Prior to joining the Leadership Foundation, Kirsten served as the director of education and member programs for Housing Colorado, an education and advocacy organization advancing safe, decent and affordable housing for all Coloradans. She began her nonprofit career at the Colorado Chautauqua Association in Boulder, Colorado managing membership services and donor development initiatives for the historic cultural institution.

She currently serves on the Colorado Latino Leadership Advocacy and Research Organization (CLLARO), B:Civic and Dance2BFree boards of directors and as chair of the Colorado Civic Health Network. Kirsten is a graduate of Ohio University (B.A. in English and Theater) and Northpark University (Master of Nonprofit Administration). If you know her, you know that she also leads a double life as a propagator of transcendental musical inclusion. That’s all we’ll say about that…

Elizabeth Prutch
Manager of Alumni Engagement

Elizabeth is the alumni engagement manager at the Leadership Foundation.  In this revitalized position she will work with alumni from all Foundation programs to ensure they stay connected and the Foundation stays relevant. Her professional background ranges from the National MS Society to The Denver Post where she’s spent 10+ years focused on community & corporate relations, event management and corporate responsibility. Elizabeth has been accused of being a social butterfly and overly energetic so just shoot her a glare if it’s too much and she’ll relax.

Elizabeth is a proud “built in Broncos fan” with orange hair and blue eyes.  If you haven’t seen her on the Jumbotron at a game then you haven’t been paying attention.  As a Denver native, her love for all things CO runs deeps; cycling, camping, golf, she’s new to fly fishing and she enjoys all those other CO activities natives like…when it’s not football season of course.  Her passion for our community is as strong as her love for the Broncos as she’s demonstrated through her board experience and volunteering.

Elizabeth is thrilled to join the amazing Leadership Foundation team in the same year she’s getting married and building a house, what a year it will be!

VJ Brown
Program Manager

VJ is a program manager for the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation and primarily works on Impact Denver and the Colorado Leadership Alliance. In addition, VJ works closely with the Leadership Foundation’s Inclusivity and Diversity Committee. A proud Daniels Fund scholar alum, he received a bachelor’s degree in Africana Studies from Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina. Throughout both his collegiate and professional career, VJ has engaged with leadership programing at different levels, most recently as a fellow with El Pomar Foundation. He’s an avid foodie, hiker and all about the local sports teams. As a native, he believes wholeheartedly in cultivating a healthy civic community in order to make Denver the best place to live.

Mikaela Gibson
Programs and Events Specialist

Mikaela Gibson is a program and events specialist for the Leadership Foundation. She juggles vendors, attendees and logistics with the greatest of ease. She has moved 15 times in the past four years, across two countries, three states and Washington D.C., so obviously she’s also a master at packing boxes, a.k.a. high-stakes Tetris. No word on if she’s a master at the actual game of Tetris, but we’ll tell you what she is good at: using at-home face masks. Yes, her skin may be caked and green at night, but it is glowing during the day. She is also good at having terrible handwriting (which is a more positive way of saying that she is bad at writing neatly). Last but not least, Mikaela is a champion couponer—the “coupon queen,” one might say. (Actually, she said it. That’s what she calls herself.) She never pays full price for anything, so nice try, beautiful $90 cashmere cardigan in her favorite color. See you on the clearance rack.

Megan Vivier
Programs and Events Specialist

Megan is a graduate of Metropolitan State University of Denver where she found her interest in leadership (and her husband) through the Urban Leadership Program. She enjoys daily walks to Starbucks for a white chocolate mocha to collect stars on the Starbucks app. Yay free drinks! One thing on her bucket list is to swim with her spirit animal, the great white shark, in South Africa. She loves all things tropical and loves traveling to coastal cities.

Megan lives in Arvada with her husband, new golden retriever puppy Oakley, Ruby the cat, and Spike the hedgehog.

Erica Rutledge
Program and Events Coordinator

Erica is the programs and events coordinator for the Leadership Foundation. She discovered a love for leadership development in high school and furthered her education in the President’s Leadership Program at CSU. She tried living in California after college but couldn’t handle the long commute and soon moved back to Colorado where she was born and raised. She considers herself a foodie, however, you would never know it by her social media since she usually is too excited to eat and forgets to take pictures. But you can be sure she has plenty of restaurant recommendations! In her spare time you can find her cheering on the Broncos, brunching, hiking to work off brunch and watching reruns of Friends.

Board of Directors

Darren Markley
Board Chair
Senior Vice President and Managing Director
U.S. Bank, The Private Client Reserve

Katie Kramer
Former Board Chair
Boettcher Foundation

Iván Anaya
Astucia Ventures

Justin Ball
Bespoke Event Group

Donna Baros
Chief Benefits Officer
Colorado PERA

Kelly Brough
President and CEO
Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce

Jennifer Chang
Regional Manager
Federal Civilian Scientific
Cisco Systems

Justin Cooper
Vice President
Saunders Construction

Josh Craver
Vice President
Global Talent Management
Western Union

Tara Dunn
HighMark Law

Laura English
Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Kaiser Permanente Colorado Region

E. Martin Enriquez
Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP

Renny Fagan
President and CEO
Colorado Nonprofit Association

Steven Foster
CEO of Connect13
Founder of Convercent

Norm Franke
Regional President
Alpine Bank

Andrea Fulton
Deputy Director and Chief Marketing Officer
Denver Art Museum

Bill Fulton
Founder and Executive Director
Civic Canopy

Brent Geist
Vice President of Investments
FirstBank Holding Company

Anthony E. Graves
Director of Regional Affairs
City and County of Denver

Gino Greco
American Red Cross Mile High Chapter

Kenneth Ho
Development Manager
Lennar Multifamily

Kittie Hook
Managing Director
Newmark Grubb Knight Frank

Bob Hottman
Audit Partner, CEO

Barb Jahn
Chief Operating Officer
SCL Health – Saint Joseph Hospital

Tasha Jones
Director of Marketing
Forest City Stapleton, Inc

Dave Law
Directors of Student Activites and Leadership
Regis University

Jon Lehmann
Senior Director of Government and Regulatory Affairs

Michelle Lucero
CAO and General Counsel
Children’s Hospital Colorado

Jason Maples
Executive Vice President
Lockton Companies, LLC

Bill Myers
VP, Communications & Corp. Social Responsibility
DaVita, Inc.

Jennifer Nealson
Chief Marketing & Sales Officer
Denver Center for the Performing Arts

Michael Niyompong
Clayton Early Learning

James Pinto
Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP

Lorii Rabinowitz
Executive Director
Denver Center for Arts and Technology

Ramonna Robinson
GroundFloor Media/CenterTable

Ruth Rohs
VP Corporate Communications / Executive Director of the IMA Foundation
The IMA Financial Group, Inc.

Maja Rosenquist
VP and General Manager
Mortenson Construction

Holly Shilliday
Managing Attorney
McCarthy & Holthus, LLC

Jamie Van Leeuwen
Senior Policy Advisor/Director, Community Partnerships, Governor Hickenlooper,
State of Colorado

Amy Venturi
Deputy Chief of Staff
Office of the Governor

Celso White
Global Chief Supply Chain Officer
Molson Coors Brewing Company